I'm unable to comment on the content of this book because I've been too distracted byt the performance and engineering to listen beyond the first two hours. George Wilson's reading of the material is dry and detached. It's difficult to focus on such a complex subject when the reader has no relationship to the text. Kurzweil is no dynamo as a public speaker, but I'm sure his own reading would be more expressive than Wilson's. I might have looked past the less than riveting performance if not for the poor audio engineering. Most recordings are processed through a dynamic range compressor to limit volume fluctuation. Modern digital recordings use less compression because uncompressed music is more exciting to the ear, but for readings compressions makes it much easier to listen in noisy environments, such as while driving. I find myself continually adjusting the volume, effectively performing manual compression. It's just too distracting.
If this were a shorter book, covering lighter subject matter, I might soldier on, but Kurzweil's material is dense, and the recording runs more than 24 hours. Time to give up and read the eBook.
I found it euphoric to hear Ray's dreams of the future while working out in general.
I feel like the nature of a work like this is in itself a masterful art form. Ray was very diligent to incorporate as many fields of scientific study as he could into an argument that is firmly grounded in what is probably the future.
The epiphany you have when you're working to master an agility based skill and Ray is describing the way your brain learns muscle memory actions.
The content is ok, somewhat repetitive and written from what the author believes to be a very optimistic point of view. I found his predictions of the near future to be very uncanny but it also makes the book feel a bit dated ( I guess that is what the singularity does to the content as well). The multiperson dialogs are extremely drawn out and boring and the monotone in which they get read make them even more unbearable.
The book could be almost a third of the length without losing any content.
Overall decent content, albeit repetitive, presented in a very boring fashion. Can't wait for the book to finish but for some odd reason am not deleting it and moving on either.
While I think the timeline is pretty optimistic, the breadth and quality of content was first rate. Love anything by Ray Kurzweil.
Editing. 66% of the content could have been removed and it may have made an interesting book. As it is, I did not get past the first of 3 parts.
Hidden, very well hidden pearls of knowledge.
Kurzweil is extremely intelligent but should have sought advice on editing this audiobook.
If this wasn't on audio I would have never finished reading the book
It's not a character book. It's Ray's version of what future information technology will become.
For a long time listening I thought Ray might have used one of his text to speech programs to narrate the book. There was very little tone inflection which made for a dry lecture.
I was fascinated by Ray after watching a documentary and lecture on TED. He is definitely methodical and tries to close all the loops to his argument/thesis, but at the same time ties his audience around the axel.
I believe Ray's information theory is not only possible but inevitable (assuming we biological creatures don't kill ourselves first), but I don't believe Ray will be around to see it. I think he knows it. Therefore he is presenting a powerful argument in an attempt to plant the seed in the minds of humanity hoping it will force exponential growth to occur much sooner.
I would have hated this in printed format as well. The whole premise "technology has been growing extremely fast for 50 years, therefore it will continue to grow fast" is just fatuous. This unsubstantiated statement is fundamental to all the claims to follow, making the claims fatuous as well.
Once in a while, I really regret reading a book; especially regretting that the author got some of my money for nothing in return. If I knew who to ask, I'd ask for a full refund. My fault for not looking at reviews before purchasing.
I would listen to it again but only the selective parts, since the narrator is bad. After first 15min I thought the narrator is going to die, the way he spoke was like a 95 year old man with no energy and mono-tone sound. It was a rough listening. But loved the story and the information.
As an engineer I loved the technical information and sequence of story/documentary.
Probably I would, if narrator is a younger more energetic sounding person.
Tag line would be Reality Check. Discovery Channel should buy the rights to make a mini-series from this book. it will be awesome.
this book is for anyone that loves Sci-fi, science, cognition, developing future business strategies, or even deciding on which classes to take at a school. Ray is able to extrapolate a valid estimate of future events. If you have a problem understanding exponential growth, then you will have a problem understanding his value that he brings to eager minds.
Any techie or fan of Ray Kurzweil will love this book. If the narration bothers you - crank the replay speed up to x1.5 or even x2.